Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Clip-O-Rama 2007

Last year I did a series of posts over the week leading up to October 31st called the Halloween Clip-O-Rama. Each day I posted a new clip, unceremoniously embedded courtesy of YouTube, from one of my favourite horror films of all time. Since I always had intended it to be a yearly sort of occurrence, and since I haven't posted a single thing in the last week that resembles a Clip-O-Rama, I'm going to squeeze the whole bunch into one post and try and keep my comments to a minimum.

First up for '07 is a movie which many, many, many people loathe but I found oddly satisfying. Silent Hill is a visually stunning film that features good performances from its nearly all-female cast and, in my opinion, a pretty good story to boot. I've liked Radha Mitchell since Pitch Black so it was nice to see her here. Likewise with Laurie Holden who I miss since her days on The X-Files. Anyway, here's the clip if you're not already familiar with the movie:

Next up is my latest buzz film, 30 Days of Night. I'm going to post an official review of this movie so I'm not going to talk too much about it, but let's just say that this is one of those simple, high-concept pictures that is executed beautifully and stands up to repeated viewings. Here's the trailer and a scene from about half-way through the movie:

The Descent is another film that fires on all cylinders. Originally I was going to ignore it, thinking it was just another flick in a long line of torture porn movies, but when Joss Whedon gave it props I figured I'd try it out. Hell, it was from the same guy what did Dog Soldiers and that made the list last year...

I recently watched The Legend of Hell House and enjoyed it quite a bit. It's basically The Haunting a la Richard Matheson but holds its own fairly well. The movie does show its age in certain areas, but the storyand mood of the picture quickly smooth over any of the rough edges the film may have. If you like an old fashioned haunting, check this one out.

Pay heed Johnny Depp fans! A Nightmare on Elm Street was supposed to make last years list but missed out for some reason (there may not have been a satisfactory clip to pull, I don't know for sure). I'd be remiss if I left it off another year running so here's the first 10 minutes of the movie in all of its glory.

Not much needs to be said about Saw other than the fact that I'm a little surprised to be adding it. I'm not a fan of the series but I did 'enjoy' the first installment for having fresh take on the genre, some decent performances and a great twist ending. It's unlikely that I'll watch the second third or fourth Saw movies, but I do own and like having the first. There, I said it. Here's the clip:

It took me a while to track down The Devil's Backbone so it holds a special place in my DVD collection. It also helps that it's a great ghost story by the inimitable Guillermo del Toro with everything one comes to expect from his Spanish language films. Strong characters, rich themes, nice imagery, and an ending that you may, or may not, see coming. Here's the trailer:

Welp, that's seven films for seven days worth of Clip-O-Rama posts. I apologise for condensing it all like this but I guess in the long run it doesn't really make a difference. That's the beauty of the internet. Everything you view or do is in your own timeframe.

As always, I'd love to hear comments if you have them. Which movies would make up your Clip-O-Rama?

Onwards and upwards!


Monday, October 29, 2007

'Net Outage

The internet's been down here for most of the weekend so I didn't have a chance to post regarding 30 Days of Night which I saw on Saturday and a few other things. It also appears that the Buffy Post-Mortem may not be as finished as originally believed.

I'll try to post more when I get home from work.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Return to Byrne

While I used to consider myself a devotee of John Byrne fandom back in the day, I haven't found much of his work of late worth checking out, or even remembering. As such, it's been a long time since I've had any desire to revisit Byrne's past body of work but, lacking something shorter to read this evening, I grabbed a copy of The Thing #2 that was lying around and gave it a once over.

Reading the story I was made aware of a number of things:

1) I'd forgotten how many captions and thought balloons they used to use to tell a story back then.

2) I'd forgotten just how much Byrne made these comics feel like updated versions of the Lee/Kirby storytelling style. Everything from panel layouts and the positioning of characters on a page to how the four members spoke to each other, Byrne was channeling something (that something could have been a volume or two fo the Marvel Masterworks).

3) I'd forgotten how colourists used to colour a scene (ie: green to indicate background, blue to indicate foreground and yellow to give highlights where necessary).

4) I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed reading these comic books.

With Ultimate Fantastic Four now on my regular pull-list, the notion had struck me that it might be fun to drag the ol' Byrne FFs out and give them a reread. After reading this issue of The Thing, I'm thinking that's more of an eventuality than a possibility, at this point. Heck, I'm even tempted to track down some of those old Thing issues since I never collected them at the time. If they're all of the same quality as the second issue, you could do a lot worse.

Hmmm, speaking of old Marvels, I'm suddenly getting a strange hankering for some Ann Nocenti/John Romita, Jr. issues of Daredevil. Does anyone remember how cool those were?

Onwards and upwards!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Necessary LinkBlog

I was looking at some of the bookmarks I have accumulated and decided that I should post a linkblog to clean some of them out. In my effort to try and make my more recent posts a little more meaty, I've made an effort to avoid posting blurbs, random links of interest and quizzes to find out which character from (insert film, TV show or book title here) you are. I haven't, however, curbed my tendencies to bookmark points of interest.

So, in the interest of keeping my browser less cluttered, I offer you...

News on the upcoming Tintin film. It would seem that Coupling creator Stephen Moffat is going to take a pass at the Herge character for Spielberg and Jackson. I'm curious to see how this'll turn out.

The MTV Movies Blog reports that the rumoured Goonies sequel is dead in the water, but may be revived as an animated film. Hit the link to read more with quotes from Corey Feldman.

Some Moorcockian news cropped up at the begining of this month regarding some new stories, including a couple of brand-spanking-new Elric tales.

Anyone wondering what Rob Thomas is going to be doing with his time post Veronice Mars should look no further than this link. I liked the original Cupid, whatever my wife may think to the contrary, so I'll be interested to see how this flies without Jeremy Piven.

I've been reading Sam and Max: Surfin' the Highway with the kids here at Jozic HQ and it was good news to hear that Telltale Games, the company responsible for the new S&M game, is reprinting the fabulous trade. Wired talks a bit about it here.

As a big fan of Ted Naifeh's Courtney Crumrin series of books, I was happy to catch this bit of news regarding the film rights being snatched by Dreamworks. I hope this comes through and doesn't end up in development hell.

I stumbled on this a couple of months ago and just really liked the song. I think I may have followed a link through a blog or something, the specifics of the whole thing elude me. Anyway, if you really hate Tom Waits, don't click through.

Just to show you how behind the times I am with this stuff, here's an image I should have posted 5 months ago courtesy of Chris' Invincible Super-Blog:

There. Now I can consider myself a conscientious comic blogger again. If it means anything, I'm still totally down with the sentiment.

Jim Uhls, screenwriter of Fight CLub, talks to the Arizona Daily Wildcat online.

Matt Wagner talks Grendel over at CBR.

Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle, creators of the wonderfully entertaining Kim Possible, wrote a book called Liar of Kudzu. It looks interesting. Here's the Simon & Schuster listing for it.

Death Star Designer. Need I say more?

Seth has an online comic strip with The New York Times. Check it out here.

It's a bit dated now but here's an interview with Joss Whedon about Buffy Season 8 courtesy of TV Guide.

Hmmmm...I think I'll leave it at that for now. At least my bookmarks toolbar isn't hemorrhaging anymore.

I also wanted to give a quick shout out to fellow blogger Johnny Bacardi over at The Johnny Bacardi Show where he's both celebrating his 5th anniversary and also calling it quits on the blog front. I always enjoyed reading his reviews and posts and appreciated his own particular POV when it came to movies, music, books and comics. It was a good run and I'll miss seeing new material from the guy. Take care, JB!

Onwards and upwards!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Tragedies of English Language Use

#2 in a continuing series.

The word for today is origin.

I'm gonna pretty much keep mum on this one other than to say that, according to all the pronounciation guides I've consulted, it's pronounced OH-ri-jin, not oh-RIJ-in. I don't know why you folks say it the way you do (and you know who you are), nor do I understand why you persist on saying it after you've been corrected, but there it is.

Onwards and upwards!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

In Search Of Steve Ditko

About five minutes ago I finished watching the Jonathan Ross/BBC documentary, In Search of Steve Ditko and I have to say that I was entertained. After getting over the initial excitement of anybody making a documentary on Ditko I read through some of the internet responses and not all of them were positive. Many chided the interviewees, particularly Alan Moore, for considering Ditko to be a mad recluse when he's just a guy who wants to be left alone, not the next JD Salinger.

Personally, I found the interviews to be well done and had the distinct impression that the questions asked were suitably probing but not argumentative. The Stan Lee segment was the best example of that. The way Ross had him humming and hawing over the question of who truly created Spider-Man was something I've waited aloooong time to see. As a comic fan, a Spider-Man fan, a Steve Ditko fan and a historian, this is the moment I'd been waiting years to see. Having Stan Lee speaking publicly about that time at Marvel without all the huckster trappings was so refreshing, and the way he can't quite give Steve all the credit but willing to give him some credit if it'll make him happy but deep down believes the credit to be his, priceless.

After hearing the various theories on whyDitko left at Spider-Man's height and then seeing Stan asked some honest questions, I'm betting his reaction has a lot to do withDitko's departure whether it be spoken or just below the surface.

Oh, and just when I thought I'd seen something totally new, Ross and Neil Gaiman go to Ditko's place of residence and come out looking like two 10 year olds who just met the Lone Ranger or something. I've never seen Gaiman so giddy or dumbstruck before. For someone who used to be a gigantic Gaiman fan but hasn't connected with the guy's work for years, I was glad to see him acting just like one of us - a fan and a reader.

I just hope that everyone and their dog doesn't decide to show up at Ditko's place now, especially since Ross would not divulge any of the details of their conversation.

All-in-all I really liked this show and hope that it finds some life outside of
the BBC on DVD or one of our many cable networks.

Onwards and upwards!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tragedies of English Language Use

#1 in a continuing series.

Although I am, by no means, infallible, there are a number of misuses of certain words and bits of grammar in the English language that drive me crazy in the same way that nails on a chalkboard can drive some people to tears or the ability of the common person to navigate an uncontrolled intersection can send others running for the hills. I thought it might be fun to come on and post about certain instances when I run across them, more for the pure cathartic release of the act than to try and position myself as some high mucky-muck who knows his English better than you do.

And just so you know the ground rules, I'm not going to come on and point out that someone failed to distinguish between and 'it's' and an 'its' cuz that's like pointing out the sky is blue to someone who is lying in the grass looking up at the clouds. No, I'm only going to post something when it really stands out, like the use of the word moot.

I recently read a post by someone (who shall remain unnamed) on their blog (which will also remain unnamed) where they used the word moot. We've all used it at some point, and 99% of us probably used it in the way which we've all become accustomed to it being used - incorrectly. More often than not the word moot is used as in the phrase, "the point is moot," or, "this is a moot point," and is usually intended to mean the argument/discussion of a topic has come to an end. Something within a given situation has essentially trumped whatever point you were trying to make, therefore there is little point in continuing with the discussion.

As the definition below shows, the true meaning of the word is anything but:

moot [moot]
1. open to discussion or debate; debatable; doubtful: a moot point.
2. of little or no practical value or meaning; purely academic.
3. Chiefly Law. not actual; theoretical; hypothetical.

[Origin: bef. 900; ME mot(e) meeting, assembly, OE gemōt; c. ON mōt, D gemoet meeting. See meet]

The definition above was cribbed from

I used to use it like everyone else, but ever since it was pointed out to me, it stands out like a sore thumb whenever I see it used improperly. Kind of like when someone tells you that you can see Harrison Ford's reflection in the glass panel between him and the cobra in the snake pit. Once you know it's there and seen it, you can never un-see it (that is unless Spielberg and Lucas go in and digitally remove it - which they did, by the way).

I'd be curious to know of any language transgressions that just irk the hell out of you. If you've got a good one, drop it in the comments.

With that, I take my leave of you to go and watch special features on my newly acquired copy of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Black Dossier

This is kind of cool. Entertainment Weekly has a 5 page preview of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's upcoming League of Extraordinary Gentlemen follow-up, The Black Dossier.

I'm equally looking forward to this hardcover and also dreading it a bit from a financial standpoint. I kind of wish that they released this third installment as a mini-series as well since I don't think I'll be able to fit The Black Dossier into my budget anytime soon, but it's not like this thing is going to go out of print or anything. It'll be a bit of a wait to read it but I'll grab it sometime, I'm sure.

Check out the pages if you're curious.

Onwards and Upwards!


Monday, October 15, 2007

My Two Cents

Actually, it'll probably be more like a penny for my thoughts since I don't really think too much about the new Cap, the prospect of who is the new Cap, or when exactly this Cap will disappear to make room for Steve Rogers to return as an LMD, a Marvel Zombie or to wake up from his grisly Civil War dream.

I like Ed Brubaker's stuff a lot. I've even started reading his run on Cap this week out of curiosity (once again, I heard an interview with the guy and I'm probably gonna check out Criminal, too) but this whole brouhaha over the death of Cap...meh. He's been dead before.

To be honest, I might actually be a bit more interested if Alex Ross wasn't involved with the redesign. If my humble opinion means anything, Ross is possibly one of the most overrated artists in the industry getting a lot of attention for peaking early with a couple of dynamic, high-profile projects, and then never really doing anything quite as interesting ever again. Sure, Marvels was great, and I still hold his U.S. project with the always entertaining Steve Darnall as one of the best Vertigo minis ever, but when was the last time Ross showed us something different? This costume redesign is a perfect example of that. I mean, I'm looking at this Cap costume and it seems strikingly similar to the Spider-Man concept sketches from back in 2001.

I nabbed this image from Ross' site where you can see more examples of the design he came up with for Sony Pictures and the first Spidey film. It's hard for me to look at the two and see many conceptual differences. Sure, the new Cap has boots and gloves to riff off of the original costume but I'm sure if Spidey wore boots and gloves there'd be a similar sort of motif running in these film designs.

I'll probably post again on the subject if I manage to read up to and through the Death of Captain America storyline. I don't doubt there's some good work being done on the title, so we'll see how things pan out.

Onwards and upwards!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Comic Haul

I've been on a bit of a comic book reading spree this past week. I'm not sure what, exactly, has gotten into me, but it would appear that, for the time being, I am very much back in the habit! Now, to be fair I never really gave up on reading my usual stuff, and I always picked up a trade or two whenever I went to the library, but the sheer volume of stuff that I've been going through, old and new, has me a little surprised for someone who was pretty much fed up with the big two for a while.

Anyway, enough mental meandering, on the the reviews...

Annihilation Conquest: Starlord #3 - I was a bit surprised by this issue. I went into it expecting more of the same but 3/4 of the way into this mini-series, Giffen has decided to slow things down, get into the character's heads, and mix up the story in such a way that I'm honestly wondering how he's going to wrap everything up with only one more issue left in the series.

Starlord also continues to be the best looking of the Annihilation minis, and debatably on of the best looking things Marvel is publishing period. Timothy Green II never ceases to delight both in the quiet moments between characters and the action scenes. His storytelling is fluid and, when combined with the rest of the creative team's efforts, make for a very enjoyable package.

I should also give a shout out to the cover artist, Nic Klein, who is also doing a (pardon the pun) stellar job. Normally, a series of head shots or team poses don't do much for me overall, but all three covers so far would make for great posters and I wouldn't hesitate to pick up one or all of them if they were offered as such.

I have to say, it's been a while since I've enjoyed Giffen's writing this much and I'm eager to see how it all turns out in the end.

The Spirit #9 - I know at some point I'm going to have to go and reread every issue of this series because I do feel like I'm missing something. All the elements are there for this to be thegreatest book on the stands, and I know a lot of people are enjoying Darwyn's take on things, but for the most part, I'm not finding this series to be a 'can't wait to get and home and read it' kind of book for me. That being said, I have enjoyed a number of the issues so far, this one being a good example of that.

The story of El Morte felt more atmospheric, more mysterious, more noir, like some of the best Eisner penned tales. The supporting cast all played their roles admirably and very much in character (I just can't get enough of Darwyn's Ebony), The Spirit was faced with an antagonist who posed a genuine threat and was someone who shared a past with Denny Colt and The Spirit's origin. The whole thing just played out very nicely and actually felt like a genuine Spirit story for a change.

Vimanarama - I heard a recent interview with Steve Rude where he claimed that there were no fun comics anymore. Personally, I just don't think he's looking hard enough.

Case in point, Vimanarama.

The desire to finally read Vimanarama two years after the fact was inspired by another interview I recently listened to, this one with Grant Morrison. What I discovered once I settled in was an incredibly fun and very witty end-of-the-world tale of first loves and second chances beautifully illustrated by the always enjoyable Philip Bond. Bond has always been a personal favourite for me and it's always a joy when he gets to dig in and really have fun on a project.

I'm sorry I waited this long to read Vimanarama. There were a couple of lines in the story that gave me a heartfelt belly laugh which was not only needed, but also not an easy thing to achieve. Morrison and Bond have spun gold with this one and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quick but thoroughly entertaining read.

Marvel Zombies - Originally when I'd heard about this series I thought it was possibly the worst idea put to paper since Secret Wars II. Sure Kirkman is a great writer and his Walking Dead series is sheer brilliance, but Marvel characters as zombies? Do we really need to see more lame marketing stunts like that last Marvel super-hero-as-Transformer thing a year or so ago?

What I didn't know at the time was that this was a story inspired by something kooky done over in Ultimate Fantastic Four, a book which I was also avoiding until about 5 months ago. Then I listened to an interview with Robert Kirkman and certain phrases stood out for me. For the life of me the only specific example I can remember is Kirkman describing how some kid is going to have found Hawkeye's head and hung on to it, or something like that. He was laughing, the interviewer was laughing and so was I. This sounded like a fun read and I made a point of checking out.

Well, I read all five issues tonight in one sitting because I couldn't stop. I had to know what happened next everytime I hit on the cliffhanger ending. Everything from Spider-Man moaning about eating his aunt and MJ, the Hulk being the hungriest one there is, to the whole gang trying to eat the Silver Surfer was so ridiculous it cracked me right up. It wasn't until the final couple of issues, though, when Galactus shows up and you just know they're going to try and eat him that things get too much. I actually squirmed in my chair with glee when the Surfer said his master was coming because I knew what that would lead to, and the payoff was absolutely satisfying.

I should also point out that any art by the great Sean Phillips is always welcome and the riffs on classic Marvel covers by Arthur Suydam were a nice touch. A nice package overall.

I hear that there's supposed to be a sequel coming out soon (if it's not already out). I'll have to look into it. If it's half as much fun as this it'll be a good ride.

Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus #1 - Just to show you how out of the loop I was/am, I didn't even know about this mini until I read a review of it over at Johnny Bacardi's blog. He didn't like it very much but, curiosity and pocketbook in hand, I headed down to my LCS and grabbed a copy for myself before it disappeared into the nebulous world of, "I can backorder that for you if you want."

Anyway, I brought it home, read it over, and while it doesn't offer anything new to the Hellboy universe or to the genre in genral, I still found it to be a very enjoyable book. Maybe I was just in the mood for it but it was atmospheric, hit all the beats that it was supposed to, and featured some very lovely art by Jason Armstrong (looking a bit like a cross between Gary Gianni and Mignola himself). I won't be beating down doors or anything to get the next three issues, but I'll certainly make an effort to pick them up. If you're a Hellboy or B.P.R.D. fan, this is something you should be giving the once over.

Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin #1 - You know, the funny thing about this mini is that I never even made the connection to the Iron Man movie coming out. I just thoguht to myself, "hmmm, here's a completely superfluous mini-series spinning off from a perfectly superfluous parent title." Can you tell I'm not an Iron Man fan? Still, the names of Joe Casey and Eric Canete do carry some weight in my books, so I checked out the first issue and was pleased with what I found.

The artwork was a bit scratchier than I'd anticipated, but Canete brings all his animation skills to bear on the storytelling and does a wonderful job of bringing Joe Casey's scripts to life. Casey does his part by not writing a dull tale by any stretch of the imagination. The only thing I'm concerned about is the fact that this is supposed to be a six-issue mini-series and we have already seen in one issue what it would normally take four in any other book being published by Marvel. The book ends with Iron Man and the Mandarin in a final fateful clash of titans, looking to the casual observer like the overall climax of the story. What Casey will do for the other five is anyone's guess but I'll stick around long enough to find out, if that's any consellation.

Oh, and I couldn't do a proper review of this book if I didn't mention that great deco cover. Is that a poster or is that a poster?

It's getting late and I think I'm going to call it a night for now. catch you on the next Comic Haul!

Onwards and upwards!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Overheard @ Work

One of the new kids at work, Andrew, was approached by a customer who asked if he had fine threaded nuts.

Andrew waited a beat and replied, "I really don't think that's any of your business."

'Nuff said.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

What Warner Bros. Should Be Doing With the Harry Potter Franchise

I was talking to Jen a few weeks ago about the new Harry Potter film, Order of the Phoenix. One of her comments on the adaptation was that the filmmakers left out some really significant things this time, moreso than with The Goblet of Fire, which is fairly understandable considering both books are heavy enough to fell a grown man or perhaps maim something the size of a housepet. And really, it's not like anyone is surprised by this, but it did get me to thinking about an idea I had some time ago (circa Chamber of Secrets movie, perhaps?).

Knowing that there were some hefty volumes to come I figured the screenwriter, Steve Kloves, would be challenged to bring as much detail and attention to the script as he had with the the films based on much smaller books. One of the things I remember hearing after the first movie was, "they were exactly the same. You really don't have to read the book if you see the movie and vice versa". This was also a time where the certainty of the three main cast members going the distance (not to mention the fiolm series as a whole) was still up in the air and the idea of having to cast new Harry, Ron and Hermione's was something I, if not the folks behind the scenes, had considered.

My solution? Take the three movies and leave them as a trilogy. Trilogys work. People like things being in a nice, neat troika despite what they say otherwise. Sure, we want another Indy movie, but it throws the balance of the series off just a smidge, don't you think? The same goes for the Die Hard series. Personally, I loved the new film, but it's still the red-headed stepchild of the series.

But I digress.

Mini-series. Make it a four or six part mini-series on cable and it would not only accomodate the longer stories Rowling was writing in the books but it would possibly take some of the heat off of the young actors and make for a nice transition to a new cast. In my eyes, problem solved, not to mention big money made on DVD releases.

Obviously, none of that came to pass. The fourth movie proved that the franchise was still a solid money maker for Warners and their four film option would officially extend to include all seven in the series. Also, the three actors decided to dig their heels in and go the distance as well making this the longest film series (as one complete saga) in film history.

So, back to the present. I'm talking to Jen and she says things are left out of the movie that probably should be there. The kids cleaning Sirius Black's house after his death, for example. In the book, I'm told, this is when they find some important magical object (a horcrux?) which is supposed to play into the next book, The Half Blood Prince. Leaving this bit out creates a narrative hole that the screenwriter for the next film will have to overcome (is Kloves still writing these things? I can't be bothered to check), and this is not the only example to speak of.

What I think Warners could have done with the series is to do a longer version of the film incorporating these little tidbits and details, seeing as they have everything and everybody in one place as it is. Keeping an eye on a theatrical release, they cut the film as a two-and-a-half hour movie and let it loose in the theatres just as they always have done. While that hullabaloo is going on, they finish up their longer version and wait for the theatrical version to run its course. Then, on a cable network like HBO (which is owned by Warners, if I'm not mistaken) they release a mini-series version made from the longer cut of the film, partly to satisfy fans wanting a beefier story, and partly to bridge the gap between the theatrical film leaving theatres and the DVD release. Then, when you eventually get to the DVD release, you pull a Lord of the Rings style one-two punch. The regular edition hits shelves and rental outlets and everybody buys it. Then, either simultaneously or a short time apart, they release the extended version to much fanfare and Potter freak appreciation. In the time it takes all of this to happen, they prepare the next film and start the process all over again. If you consider the books release dates over the years, they could literally have had Potter goings-on throughout the whole year keeping the franchise buzzing and their coffers fat.

I think it reeks of absolute brilliance, but then I work in a hardware store and haven't even read the series, so who am I to talk.

Onwards and upwards!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kind Of Moody

I just got back from work and figured I'd sit down to do some long overdue blogging but I find myself in a strange humour and I'm not entirely sure what to write. I had intended to do another Comic Haul since I've been reading quite a few comics lately, but the mood to be all reviewey isn't too strong right now. I also considered doing a linkblog, but that just seems tacky.

I will mention one interesting thing I read recently. A friend sent me a link to Empire Online where Neil Gaiman jokingly asks people to give Terry Gilliam 70 million dollars to make a Good Omens movie. Sure, you chuckle at first when you think about it but really, why doesn't Gilliam set up a PayPal account or something and raise the money that way. It couldn't be any harder or less reliable than studio funding (Man From La Mancha anyone?). When you think of all the people that love that book, and how many people would front a guy a few dollars, it's not an entirely bad idea.

I mean, Darren Aronofsky financed much of Pi that way. He sent letters to everyone he knew and to prominent people in his community asking for $90, or some number like that. He managed to raise a decent amount of money that way and if you watch the tail end of the credits you'll see a looong list of names which happen to be all the people who wrote him a cheque back when he was scrounging up money for the picture.

I know I'd send some money to the Good Omens fund. Buy a few shares, if you will.

They could even make it something cool by having a web page or blog or internet presence of some kind and let the folks who donated cash get sneak peeks at stuff, like seeing some rushes or first look exclusive news. Kind of like the Star Wars Hyperspace access, only instead of a fan club, it'd be a financiers club. Access to sneak previews of the film when it opens...the list could go on and on.

Even if the thing tanked Don Quixote style, it would be an interesting way to spend a few dollars, meet some people (virtually or otherwise) and be part of something fun. And for those of us who love the book it would be a chance to give something back to Pratchett and Gaiman (as long as the movie doesn't suck eggs).

Somebody tell me why this isn't a great idea, cuz I'm lovin' it.

Onwards and upwards!


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pleased and Pissed

I'm a little bit tweaked about this book that I just received today. I was very much looking forward to getting the hardcover version of The Fountain graphic novel, partly because it was kind of my 'official' birthday present from Jen and partly because I was just really looking forward to it. I haven't seen the film in its entirety yet but I loved what I saw, and I didn't want to settle for the paperback edition of the graphic novel because of the original art that was commissioned for the hardback, including a piece by Seth Fisher who we lost recently and who was very much admired by Darren Aronofsky.

I ordered the book that is featured on my sidebar at the end of last week, I read the product description, I checked (or I thought I checked) the publication details and did my level best to make sure that this was the one that I wanted to get.

I'll admit that I should have picked up on the cover image not being very Kent Williams-ey, and I should have also noted the lack of any Vertigo mention or logo anywhere visible, but I guess the heat of the moment had me clicking away through the checkout process and instead I received a coffee table book.

I'll give you it's a beautiful coffee table book. From the cover to the original screenplay embedded in the back cover, this is a really purdy package. The art pieces inside are also remarkable, all based on scenes from the film manipulated in a computer to give slightly different interpretations of the story and the images within.

To ease the 'pain', I managed to find this very nice little piece in The New York Times that offers a slideshow with some commentary by the artists themselves. A nice little extra touch that I wouldn't have gotten from the book had I managed to actually buy it. I particularly enjoyed the commentrary by Barron Storey while loving the pieces by Seth Fisher, James Jean, Phil Hale, and Dave Gibbons.

I will eventually get my hands on the book I intended to buy, hardcover or softcover, I guess it's not a huge deal anymore. Especially since the hardcover is out of print now and it will require some extensive searching on the internet to find one for a reasonable price. In the meantime, though, I think I'll just finish the movie, check out my book with the screenplay, and be glad for happy accidents. I think more than anything I just needed to rant and ramble until I felt a little better about my purchase.

Onwards and Upwards!


P.S. I just hit the Rizzoli site (which is the publisher of the book I bought) and it says that there is supposed to be commentary by Ari Handel and Darren Aronofsky in the book. Othe than a brief End Comments at the back of the screenplay, there isno commentary to speak of.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Filthy Luchre

Hey, folks. I'm experimenting again with this stuff, specifically their aStore program. I've added a link to the new Meanwhile... House of Swag under the My Websites category and what I'm basically planning to do with it is add everything I've included on the sidebars to the aStore. If the spirit moves anyone, or myself, to click through and actually purchase something from the site that would be cool (more for the fact that you've taken a reccomendation than for any monetary gains I may incur) but I'm not expecting to quit my dayjob or anything here.

It's kind of like assembling a mixed CD of all the things I've run across and found cool. Check it out if you're curious and any opinions, as always, are welcome.

Anyway, errands to run, computers to price.

Onwards and upwards!